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Wellington rodeo announcers have rich local heritage

Dea R and Colleen Thayn get ready for another rodeo. Colleen has been by Dea's side during every rodeo he has called for more than 50 years.

The Wellington Mountaineers Riding Club was organized in 1951. The club was originally an all-men's club. In 1966 the wives organized their own riding club, the Lady Luck Riders, but in 1970 they joined the Mountaineers when the men realized how much of an asset the women could be (and they needed their bank account!).

Dea was a founding member of the Wellington Mountaineers Riding Club and Colleen was a founding member of the Lady Luck Riders.

Dea was the announcer for all of their rodeos with Colleen by his side as his secretary. He has only missed announcing one rodeo since 1951.

He started out with a megaphone and a record player as his announcing equipment. Dea is the only active member of the original riding club members.

The club's first rodeo was held south of the ballfields in Wellington and the fence was everyone's vehicles parked in a circle. The first official Wellington Mountaineers 24th of July rodeo was held next to the current red LDS church located on main street in Wellington, it was called the tithing yard and had a pole fence around it on three sides, the church was in the process of being built so it was the other part of the fence.

The top row of poles had to be removed so spectators could see the rodeo. Bishop Grant Gerber helped the riding club get the money for grounds and facilities for their first rodeo. In return the riding club helped get logs and such to build the church.

Their first uniform was a blue and white shirt with a white stetson hat. The first parade of the Wellington July 20 Celebration was a rainy one and their nice white hats sagged, dripping wet, down around their faces like a ladies bonnet. The club also helped find many a lost child and adult. The Wellington Mountaineers first clubhouse was given to them by the Governor.

The American Legion also used the club hall. The riding club had to go to the San Rafael Desert to get it. It was located where the Daughter of Utah Pioneers now have their log cabin at the park.

The club joined the Utah State Western Riding Club Association in 1952 and traveled to Idaho for some of their state meets. Dea served as the president of the USWRCA twice and there has only been one other person have the same honor of being president twice. He was a district director for District 6 Riding Clubs, the local district, for over 20 years, was chairman of the Carbon County Fairboard for approximately 5 years and a member of the board for many years and was instrumental in getting the current fairgrounds arena built. He was invited to judge the Days of '47 All Horse Parade for many years in Salt Lake City and made many lifelong friends while doing this.

He judged many horse shows, rodeo queen contests, district, region and state riding club meets and 4-H shows. He also announced the District 6 Riding Club meets in Price for several years.

Dea has received many honors for his years of service in the horse industry.

We would like to honor Dea and Colleen for their years of service to the Wellington Mountaineers Riding Club and Rodeo. Dea's retirement as the 'voice behind the microphone' of the Wellington Mountaineers July 24th Rodeo marks the end of an amazing era of 57 years of announcing.




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